Today was one of the best days of my life and everything I imagined cruising the south pacific could be.
I woke up next to my amazing girlfriend on a non-rocking boat. The wind had backed off and was no longer howling through the rigging. We listened to the morning HF radio net and made some tea. We had an awesome breakfast in the cockpit and watched the locals heading out to collect fish from the traps. Then we readied the dinghy for a dive and headed out the pass and along the coast about a mile. When we reached the dive site marked on the GPS we didn’t find a dive buoy, it was quite rough and Lyss was a bit scared of diving on a wall that drops off into the abyss so she stayed with the dinghy while I slipped below the surface to explore. The dive was incredible. The coral was abundant and very healthy teeming with thousands of fish. I spent time filming two clown fish dancing in and around a huge sea anemone. I descended into grottos and under coral ledges. I dropped down the face of the steep wall on the edge of a thousand foot abyss. It was everything I would want in a dive and it was incredibly peaceful down there.
When we returned to the pass we decided to stop by and introduce ourselves to the local family who lives here. Valentine and Gaston are very friendly and welcoming. We were immediately handed some delicious fresh coconut. They asked if we wanted to trade for some pearls. We spent about an hour carefully going through there pearl collection and making our selection. They asked for booze, specifically rum and whiskey, unfortunately we have neither. They also asked for TP, paper towels, canned food, pasta and of course beer and wine. We came back from the boat with our last box of wine, some beers, TP, paper towels, canned veggies, pasta, sunglasses and some other things. She really liked the sunglasses, and the American beer. We arrived at a deal and returned to the boat with our booty.
After lunch I took the kayak and went exploring. I was peddling over the bright blue and turquoise water while watching the coral heads just below the surface. The fish traps they have set up are quite interesting. It’s just a chicken wire and rebar maze that the fish swim into and cant get out of. When they get hungry they just motor over to the traps and pick out lunch. After checking out the traps I peddled over to a drop off, donned mask and snorkel and jumped in. I drifted through the pass back towards the boats and came upon a huge green moray eel. He was about five feet long and had his mouth open and he was looking at me with his sharp teeth. I watched him for about ten minutes wondering if he was going to come all the way out but eventually decided to let him be and I moved on.
Once back at the boat I had a good shower and got ready for dinner with our friends on The Beguinne and True Blue V. Alyssa whipped up a potato salad and we headed over to the Beguinne while the sun was setting outside the pass. We all shared a great evening complete with fresh pamplemouse margaritas, actual fresh green salad!, Alyssa’s awesome potato salad and fresh-caught mahi mahi. I topped it all off with a slice of cocoa cake left over from the visit with our German friends on Antares.
What a great day in an absolutely amazing place. We have all the ingredients for a wonderful happy life right here…..and there is not a single thing for sale. No schedule, no overbearing laws, no police, no tax man, no theft and no crime. Just good people sharing and enjoying each day as it comes in a spectacularly beautiful setting.
Everyone here is smiling, and for good reason. What a stark contrast to the faces on the NYC subway….
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store.
June 2, 2014
Anse Amyot, Toau, Tuamotus, French Polynesia